The Secrets Of How To Reset Miles On A Car

Purchasing a used car is cost saving, but there is a high chance to be ripped off if you are not careful. One common issue is the odometer fraud that many old car sellers do to deceive the customers. If you know how to reset miles on a car, it will be easier for you to detect the tampering.

Is It Legal To Reset Mileage On Car?

Can a car mileage be reset? Yes. Is it legal? No. Is there no legal way to reset the mileage? Yes, there is. How to reset miles on a car in a legal way? Keep reading.

The practice is not uncommon if you need to replace the gauge cluster. But, it drops the car’s resale value and you have to inform the buyer at the time of selling.

can a car mileage be reset
Resetting odometer is illegal (Photo Source: autocars)


In fact, if you are using the same VIN (vehicle identification number) for your car, the buyer will know if you have reset the odometer. The VIN is enough to dig out the records of registration, modifications, repairs, accidents and other things about a car.

If someone sells you a ‘zero-mile’ car and you later find out about the fraudulence, you can sue them.

How To Reset Miles On A Car

Many old car sellers reset the odometer to make the vehicle appear newer and demand more money from the buyer. How do that they that?

Changing the instrument cluster. In most Japanese cars, the mileage is stored on the instrument cluster, not on the ECU. If you replace the cluster with a new one, the mileage will show zero. If you take the cluster from another car, the dashboard will show the mileage from the original vehicle. The legal way is to transpose the miles from the old unit before the replacement.

Tampering with a knob. There is a knob near the dashboard that does multiple functions like temperature evaluation and showing the remaining fuel percentage. But, you can use it for manipulating the odometer reading too. Just press it for a few seconds when you see the fuel’s economy. It will reset the odometer to ‘0’.

reset mileage on car
Old car sellers mostly do the odometer tampering (Photo Source: thestar)

Reassemble the odometer. If you have good technical knowledge about car parts and mechanism, resetting a mechanical odometer in an older vehicle is an easy job. You have to dismount the odometer and change its values before reassembling. It will be difficult to do the tampering if the odometer has a tamper-proof seal.

If you decide to do the rigging, remember to match the mileage with the condition of the vehicle. The average lifespan of tires is 25,000 km. It will clearly look fishy if the tires are in a dire condition but the odometer reads only 10,000 miles.

The Bottom Line

As you know how to reset miles on a car, it will be easier for you to detect mileage fraud. Remember that the wear on all parts of a car is as old as the mileage. Besides, you can always check the VIN to find out if the seller is deceiving you.